Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Friday that he will forgo an independent bid for the White House in 2020.
In a letter posted to his website, Schultz wrote, “I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time.”
“I was fueled by a love of country, a profound concern for people’s well-being, and optimism about our nation’s potential to live up to its ideals,” he said of his exploration of a possible presidential campaign.
“In our own communities, we don’t have to look far to see proof that empathy, respect, civility and a collaborative spirit run deep,” he continued. “But not in Washington, D.C., where Democrats and Republicans have consistently put party over country, perpetuated divisiveness and gridlock, and failed to solve big problems and enact solutions on which a majority of people in both parties already agree.”
Schultz came under fire from Democrat activists who warned an independent bid would boost President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign. He said people believe an independent bid “might lead to reelecting a uniquely dangerous incumbent president.”
In June, Schultz said he was taking a “detour” from a potential run due to a back injury and would announce his plans around Labor Day.
“[A] back injury in April and three subsequent surgeries have required a level of recovery that has prevented me from continuing my travels and engaging with people to the degree that is necessary,” the billionaire wrote.
However, Schultz is not ruling out further involvement in politics and “prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock.”
“Common-sense policies and initiatives that can help address widening inequality at home, while strengthening America’s standing in the world, will be a priority,” he said. “Among my early efforts will be to advocate for increased national service opportunities for young people.”